Centre of Entrepreneurship

New ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship in Guadalajara to boost cross border trade for SMEs 

  • 2 October 2023

ICC and the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce with the support of ICC Mexico have announced the unveiling of an ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship in Guadalajara to boost cross-border trade for SMEs in the region.

The Guadalajara hub will work closely with local stakeholders, including businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, and governmental agencies, to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurs and global markets.   

The launch of the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship in Guadalajara is a significant step forward in empowering SMEs in Mexico, bringing to 14 the number of Centres helping entrepreneurs and smaller businesses worldwide. 

“We are delighted to open the Centre of Entrepreneurship in Guadalajara and strengthen ICC’s enduring presence in Latin America. This new centre is a fantastic addition to our strong network of CoEs and will provide the necessary resources to help local businesses connect to global markets and grow,”

said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.  

ICC Chair, Maria Fernanda Garza also highlighted the importance of SMEs for the global economy.  

“ICC is very proud to support entrepreneurs in Mexico knowing the transformative impact that SMEs can have on the economy. We are looking forward for this partnership with the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce and ICC Mexico to unleash the power of young entrepreneurs and create a brighter future,’’

she said.   
ICC Secretary General John Denton and ICC Chair Maria Fernanda Garza speaking at the launch of the Centre of Entrepreneurship in Guadalajara

An official ceremony was held at the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce to mark the launch in the presence of ICC Chair, Maria Fernanda Garza, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, President of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce, Raúl Uranga Lamadrid Secretary of Economic Development, Roberto Arrechedera Pacheco, Mayor of Guadalajara, Pablo Lemus Navarro and President of ICC Mexico, Claus von Wobeser. 

“Entrepreneurs who are part of this centre will acquire the tools to grow and go global, as they will have access to the network of Centre of Entrepreneurship of the International Chamber of Commerce. On the other hand, this centre will also represent a gateway for entrepreneurs from other countries to do business with local companies and even settle in Mexico. It’s a winning formula for everyone,”

said Raúl Uranga, President of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce. 

Cross-border trade opportunities 

Mexico has 4.47 million SMEs, of which 94.1% are micro-enterprises. Less than 10% of SMEs export to the international market, according to OECD statistics and the National Survey of Productivity and Competitiveness for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ENAPROCE) in Mexico. 

 SMEs participation in international trade has been limited by various factors including the lack of specialised entrepreneurial knowledge and capabilities, insufficient understanding of international trade and markets, barriers and regulations related to cross-border trade, and limited access to finance, particularly trade finance. 

“At ICC Mexico we believe that the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship will accelerate the transition of SMEs towards cross-border trade in the face of the relocation of global companies to the region. This initiative will have the great virtue of strengthening our social fabric, as it will reinforce one of the fundamental pillars of Mexico’s real economy, given that MSMEs provide 7 out of every 10 formal jobs and contribute to 52 percent of the GDP,”

said Claus von Wobeser, President of ICC Mexico. 

ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship  

 Serving as a platform to scale globally the most successful local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives, the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship pairs entrepreneurs with experts from around the world to provide global trainings, virtual mentoring and coaching, with the aim of inspiring future entrepreneurs, digitising SMEs, scaling start-ups and fostering inclusive entrepreneurship.  

The first Centre of Entrepreneurship hub was launched in Istanbul with ICC Turkey and the Union of Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges in 2020, followed by the establishment of hubs in Accra, Beirut, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Casablanca, Jakarta, Lagos, Nairobi, Seville, Ukraine, Tbilisi and Moldova.